On this day: March 11

POSTED: 09:10 AM PST Mar 05, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Mar 10, 2015 

Spanish Influenza breaks out, Janet Reno is confirmed as the first female attorney general, and a massive earthquake and tsunami cripple Japan, all on this day.

OTD March 11 - Japan earthquake
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Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

2011: An earthquake measuring 9.0 in magnitude strikes 81 miles east of Sendai, Japan, triggering a tsunami, killing more than 15,000 people and causing a nuclear emergency. Another 6,135 people were injured and 2,694 people left missing. It was the most powerful known earthquake ever to have hit Japan, and one of the five most powerful earthquakes in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

 
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